COAST launches Clipper Connection Commuter Routes
On January 9th, 2012, COAST implemented the first phase of a new bus service aimed at commuters heading to the greater Portsmouth region. COAST's new Clipper Connection service is expected to be a group of 3 or more bus routes running strictly commuter-based schedules. Each route will serve a different community surrounding the employment hub in the Portsmouth area. The first two routes launched in January created service running to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the Pease Tradeport. Route 100 collects riders in the communities of Somersworth, Berwick, South Berwick, and Eliot on its way to PNSY and the Tradeport. Route 101 operates through central Dover.
The routes are designed to be primarily park & ride style commuter routes, with limited local pickups in the morning, and drop-off-only service in the afternoons. The fare for the routes is $3.00 each way, with special Clipper Connection monthly passes for $120. The monthly pass for this service also registers users for a free guaranteed ride home service, to alleviate concerns about being stuck at work in an emergency.
Although only two routes are operating currently, at least two more are in the development phase. COAST hopes to introduce a service for the greater Rochester area, as well as one south and west of Great Bay and the greater Exeter region.